How to Disinfect Door Handles and Light Switches

How to Disinfect Door Handles and Light Switches

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We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Staying clean and keeping things clean in your house is one of your utmost priorities. But what if the war is against the dirt and contaminants that you can’t see? 

Yeah, we are talking about the virus, bacteria, fungi and other microbiological sources of flu, infection and other health risks. Cleaning only is not the solution to the problem, of course.

What you need to do is ‘clean and disinfect’ them in a proper way regularly. 

So, how to disinfect door handles and light switches when you’re not a cleaning expert? This guide will guide you through the steps, cleaners, cleaning frequency and everything else that you need to know about this concern.

Are you a dog lover? Read our complete guide on how to disinfect the dog's paws!

Why Clean Door Handles and Light Switches?

There are a lot of areas in your home that might catch your attention for cleaning now and then. But if you ask for a couple of places which are often neglected but demand to be cleaned with utter priority, we would name the door handles and the light switches. 

If you consider the places which get touched by people, the doorknobs and the light switches are the toppers on the list. Therefore, sources of infection such as bacterial, viruses, fungi and other air-borne microbes get on them in the first place. 

Later on, they get spread out among other family members through repeated usage of these places. And if you get unlucky, this can be the culprit behind several diseases such as COVID-19, infections, bacterial infections, fungal infections, and other prion disease, etc.  

Therefore, cleaning and disinfecting the doorknobs and the light switches should be of utmost priority as long as you're a concerned homeowner. 

Getting to Know the Cleaners

Before we get into the steps on how to disinfect door handles and light switches, we would like to take some moments for some pre-discussions. 

It’s about learning all possible household cleaners and disinfecting agents available in the market. This is important because homeowners often get overwhelmed by the tons of products and the lucrative advertisements of them. Therefore, they end up investing after the wrong set of products that either overkills the purpose or doesn’t serve a significant purpose at all.

However, in this part, we’ll take some types of household cleaners and what they can do for you. Let’s go. 

Type 1: All-Purpose Cleaners

In this type, we’ll list down the cleaners that are cleaner for all generic parts of your home. These are divided into two categories in terms of chemical property - the abrasive ones and the non-abrasive ones. 

Abrasive all-purpose cleaners

Abrasive cleaners are better known as soil dirt removal. In case you have any part of your home where there is a heavy amount of soil or stubborn dirt of similar kind, that’s where the abrasive cleaners come into the play. 

The ingredients of abrasive cleaners are mainly small particles of minerals or fine steel wool. As alternatives of those, there can be metal particles, nylon or copper. 

These are a few examples of abrasive all-purpose cleaners- 

  • Powder cleaners with fine mineral particles. 
  • Liquid cleaners with the suspension of solid abrasive particles. 
  • Scouring pads that contain a ball of fine steel. 

Do they contain disinfecting property?

Some of the abrasive cleaners also disinfect surfaces (as long as we’re concerned about disinfecting chores here). Those abrasive cleaners contain antimicrobial agents within them, which kills the bacteria colonies on a surface. 

However, you can simply identify such abrasive cleaners by the tag of ‘Kills germs’ or ‘Disinfects’ label on the body of them. For further assurance, make sure to check the ingredient list. 

Non-abrasive all-purpose cleaners

Just like the name suggests, the non-abrasive sprays are those which don’t contain abrasive particles within them. Dirt that is evolved from oil, grease, etc are usually treated with non-abrasive cleaners. 

Three forms of non-abrasive cleaners are available in the market- 

  1. Liquid non-abrasive cleaners that can be diluted. 
  2. Powdery non-abrasive cleaners that are must be diluted into a water-based solution. 
  3. Spray form of non-abrasive solutions that can be applied to the subject directly. 

These are liquids or powders that can be mixed up with water to prepare solutions of cleaners. Some of them can be used directly on the dirty subject as well. 

Do they contain disinfecting property? 

Although not all of them, some of the non-abrasive cleaners can contain disinfecting properties. Just like the abrasive ones, this one will contain the phrases- ‘kills germs’ or ‘disinfects’ etc. 

But as we said, not all of the non-abrasive all purpose cleaners contain disinfectant or antibacterial properties within them. 

Type 2: Purpose-specific Cleaners

In the second type, we’ll be talking about the cleaner that is less of generic cleaning property, and more of specific purpose-driven cleaners. Chemically, these cleaners are meant to do their best for some certain cleaning scenarios. And we’ll discuss them shortly. 

Here goes the list of 5 such purpose-specific cleaners that you should know about- 

Disinfectants

As per the demand of the topic, we’ve got to list the disinfectants in the first place. These are the cleaners that can kill or eradicate the source of infections on a particular surface. 

Chemically, they come up with antimicrobial agents within them such as sodium, pine oil, hypochlorite, phenols or quaternary ammonium compounds, etc. These chemical compounds have the property to kill bacterial and microbiological beings, and so do the cleaners.

Some of the disinfectants also contain other cleaning agents to remove soil from surfaces as that also can contain germs. 

Our Recommended Disinfectants:
Spray Nine 26832
Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface

Bleaches

A very familiar form or cleaners is the bleaches. Although homemakers get to apply this on many occasions regarding cleaning, it has it’s set of USPs. 

The liquid household bleach that we use is called Sodium hypochlorite chemically. This can work great against stains or strains on hard surfaces. 

That makes is capable of removing stains sourced from oil, grease and even molds or mildews. 

Some of the bleaches available in the market can disinfect and kill germs as well. To some certain extent, they can kill viruses and fungi. 

Our Recommended Bleach:
Clorox Splash-Less Bleach

Metal Cleaner and Polishes

The metal parts of your home utensils or furniture would need different kinds of attention when it’s about selecting the right cleaning agent. And that’s because metal surfaces are likely to suffer from ‘tarnishing’. 

Now, what is tarnishing? Well, as you know, metal surfaces can get oxidized if it comes in contact with air. These cleaners that come as a form of a paste, are well applied to the affected metal surfaces and therefore, taken care of. 

Others

There are a handful of such purpose-driven cleaners that are named on and on. But to keep this discussion more centered on disinfecting door knobs and switches, we’re going to list them all in one place. 

Here goes the list: 

  • Drain opener and build-up removers
  • Glass cleaners
  • Hard water mineral removers
  • Over cleaner liquids
  • Shower cleaners
  • Toilet bowl cleaners
  • Tile cleaners
  • Sink cleaner
  • Carpet and rug cleaner
  • Floor cleaners
  • Wooden surface cleaners

We’ll talk about these cleaners and how to go in action with them in some other posts. But for now, let’s keep our focus on cleaning and disinfecting door knobs and switches. 

How to Clean and Disinfect Doorknobs and Light Switch?

Step 1: Select the right disinfecting agent

To select the right kind of cleaning agent that helps with disinfecting the doorknobs and the light switches, you have to keep two things in mind- 

  1. What kind of dirt are you dealing with? 
  2. How hard-to-reach the dirty places are?

As long as most doorknobs and light switches are concerned, there is hardly any solid, soil-like dirt. Usually, it’s just the dust as long as the visible sources of pollution are concerned. 

But what we’re more bothered with is the invisible ones. We’re talking about fungus, the virus, and bacteria. And other microbes that are air-borne. And that’s where the disinfecting properties of the cleaner pops in. 

Another of our concerns is how hard to reach the places are. Well, mostly both doorknobs and the light switches are easily accessible unless you want to rinse them for deep cleaning and disinfecting. In case you have a door knob with some places where you can’t get your fingers or brush, you can go for spray cleaners that come with disinfecting properties. 

Step 2: Remove the gunk or visible dirt first

It’s not unusual on a rainy day when people would get into your house with their dirty hands. Therefore, when they will touch the doorknob or the calling bell switch or even the light switches of the living room, there will be visible dirt contaminants. 

Before Going for disinfecting, you should get those for cleanings. You can use wipers and sprays that work against such dirt. After applying the spray or cleaner firmly on the place, make sur3 to keep the place wet for at least a few minutes. This ensures that the dirt will come off easily when you will wipe them off with a dry cloth or scrubber. 

Step 3: Spray the disinfecting agent

We expect that you have got two things by this step: 

  1. A doorknob or light switch free of visible specks of dirt. 
  2. A cleaning agent that has a ‘Disinfects’ or ‘kill germs’ tag on its label. 

If you are done with both of these, let’s go and disinfect the places. 

Take the spray, or the liquid cleaner in some cases, and cover the knob or switch up with the cleaner. For the case of a light switch, make sure that it’s turned off before you go. 

And make sure that the liquid has reached places like the handles of the doorknobs, the whole surface of the light switch, the base of the doorknob etc. it’s important to eradicate the source of infection from all over the place. 

Keep them wet for a few minutes.

Step 4: Wipe it away with a dry and clean cloth

Now, it's time to wipe the areas out. Take a piece of clean and dry cloth and roll it into folds. Wipe it on the doorknob and the light switch and make sure that it’s dried off completely. 

Once you’re done with basic wiping, you can also take a few sprays of water on them and wipe them out once again to make them shiny again. But this option is completely optional and it won’t matter if you leave it undone. 

Once done, let the places air-dry. Don’t touch both of these places for a few minutes. 

How Often Should You Clean Doorknobs and Light Switches?

Based on the climate condition of the place you’re living in, there are certain times while flu or infectious diseases spread out a certain time in the year. And you know when that is. 

So, those particular times of the year are the times when you need to clean and disinfect places like doorknobs and light switches daily.

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While it’s the other times of the year, cleaning these two things daily is recommended. But not necessarily you’ve to disinfect them once in a day. 

In case you don't have so many visitors or strangers coming in every day, you can go for disinfecting the knobs and the light switches twice in a week. 

But remember, you can, of course, increase the frequency of the disinfecting based on how much accurate the flu season is going on. 

Bottom Line

So, this had been our guide on how to disinfect door handles and light switches without breaking the bank. If it's flu season and things are at danger point, don’t panic and be aware of these chores. That’s all it takes to survive healthily.